Questions remain after removal of Valdosta High School football coach

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 29, 2020

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The search for the new head Wildcat is on after Valdosta High School head football coach Alan Rodemaker was fired at a school board meeting Tuesday night.

But the big question remains; why?

Unfortunately, there still aren't any answers.

In talking with school board members on Wednesday, they say it's a personnel matter and they aren't allowed to give any further information.

A lot of Wildcats fans say they feel a little blindsided.

Rodemaker was named head coach at VHS in 2016 and led the Cats to a state title that same season.

Wednesday night's vote was a close one, but ultimately the school board voted 5-4 to release Rodemaker from his coaching duties.

Former players of Rodemaker's say he's a good coach and a good man and that he pushed players to be great on and off the field. But, in a city that loves football, there has always been some tension.

"He pushed us with that gritty mentality and that mentality that you can always improve and always get better and really focus on the little things, and I think that's something that some players can't do and some players don't agree with," said Zeke Menefee, a former Wildcat player.

Menefee says the way Rodemaker pushed his team wasn't for everybody, but it's also why he believes so many players go on to be successful.

The full statement released by the Valdosta City Schools district can be seen below.

"During the Valdosta Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 28, the renewal of Valdosta Wildcats' head football coach, Alan Rodemaker, was on the agenda for discussion and vote during the board's executive session. At the conclusion of executive session, the board voted in favor to release Rodemaker from his coaching responsibilities."

Rodemaker did say at Tuesday's meeting that he'll be talking with Superintendent Todd Cason, as well as the team, to decide what to do next.

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